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Over the Portage, Into History, chronicles the lives of eight adventurous, but little known, fur traders, explorers, canoeists and couriers de bois (woods runners, or unlicensed traders), who traversed this area in canoes and who left highly visible legacies on the history of the million and a half square mile Hudson Bay watershed, or Rupert’s Land.
In the nearly 200 years of the fur trade (1650 to 1840), there were never more than 3,000 people in this vast region, primarily Indian, French, English, and Scottish, and later a few Americans, yet it produced millions of dollars in furs and was the largest dollar volume industry in the western hemisphere.
John Henricksson has written about the natural and cultural history of northern Minnesota for fifty years in newspapers, magazines, and books; and has contributed to radio, TV, and film programming. His book on the wildlife of the Gunflint region, A Wild Neighborhood, won the Minnesota Book Award for nature writing.